Back on the bike

April? APRIL! What the… How does this happen?! Anyway, life continues apace (it seems). Holidays are being booked, cars being pondered, and still in the background a website remains unfinished. Must. Get. It. Done. Weight continues to fluctuate, the last two weeks I’ve been ill (again) and as the course of antibiotics finishes I’m getting back on track, and back on my bike. Need to get rid of 5kg ASAP! I know I work best when I have a goal so my first is a 50-mile pootle along the Forth & Clyde canal on the 20th May. Plan is to cycle to work a few times, and hopefully fit in a couple of weekend cycles from Glasgow to Balloch as …

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Almost Christmas!

I have a terrible memory, if I didn’t have access to a calendar (app/website) I’d be completely lost. The flipside of this is that, because everything goes into my calendar, it’s easy for me to see that between now and Christmas I have something (a gig, a wedding reception, nights out and other commitments) planned every single weekend bar one. This is not a bad thing, but does force me into having to plan more and more of the rest of my life to make sure everything that needs to get done, gets done (things like paying bills, cleaning, etc) and that I leave time to do things that I want to do, some of which are scheduled, of course, …

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On yer bike!

At the start of Cycle Glasgow 2011, originally uploaded by Gordon. http://www.justgiving.com/gordonmclean Last year I agreed to take part in the Glasgow to Edinburgh cycle (mostly because my mate was nagging me to do it). I didn’t own a bike but it sounded fun. Then, early this year as you all know, my Mum had a stroke. She’s been through a life changing experience and is battling through the other side. It has changed her life, my Dad’s life (himself a heart attack survivor) and made me realise that you only get one shot at this thing called life. Your donation will help further the research in these areas, lessen the risk for us all, and better support the survivors, …

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In the mood

Right! Yes, right. I think, yeah I’m pretty sure, well as much as I can be, that my mindset is in the right place. I pick up my bike on Saturday (finally) you see, hence the change of mindset this week, in preparation. Hmmm, I’m waffling. Let me explain. For a long time, many many years, I’ve been overweight (clinically obese at times but what do doctors know!). I’ve dipped in and out of various fitness attempts and diets, with varying success. Play 5-a-side football, hit the gym at 6am, got down to 15st 10lbs at one point which is, as far as my ailing memory serves, the lightest I’ve been in my adult life, then put it all back …

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The Mothership has landed*

Mum is home! Look, here she is as she walked through the front door! Thank you to everyone for their kind messages of support here, and on Facebook which I’ve been using a lot more to keep people, family members in particular, around the world up to date. It’s been so handy even my Dad has signed up! (prompting a mad changing of my permissions… 😉 ). There is still a journey ahead, Mum will be working hard on her physio to get full movement back in her hand, arm and leg, but the fact she can sleep in her own bed (or her own sofa) will make a HUGE difference. Case in point, after being home for an hour …

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Hounds of Hell

Glancing down at the readout I notice, with some dismay, that I’ve still got 4 minutes left. I glance around me, at the huffing man on the treadmill, the two girls gossiping whilst idly spinning the wheels on their bikes, and a middle-aged woman staring in bewilderment at the exercise sheet she is holding. And then my gaze carries over to where the muscle boys are. Bedecked in their uniforms of vest tops and jogging bottoms they silently grimace and sweat, methodically lowering and raising dumbbells. They don’t talk, preferring to stare at themselves in the large mirrored wall, the only noise is the occsional heavy clank of metal. Finally I finish on the bike and swap a few pleasantries …

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Olivia Newton John

They make me laugh, if I’m honest. Not out loud, and not heartily, and there is a level of wonder and envy but, ultimately, I laugh at their preening and posing. But never to their face. As I puff and wheeze, legs failing on the bike as I crank out another kilometre, I can see them out of the corner of my eye. The clank of the dumbbells, those big weighty lumps explode into movement and then fall still. There is a fluidity, a raw power behind what they do, but the effects can be grotesque. So I happily ignore them, leave them to their posturing. Such big proud men, so silly in their masculinity. There was a time I …

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Small differences

Tomorrow morning I’ll be at Glasgow Green to cheer on Louise’s cousin Sharon as she completes the 10K that is organised as part of the Great Scottish Run. I don’t care how heavy the rain is, nor how hard the wind may blow because I owe her a few cheers. Roll back the clock to June 2007 and having hauled myself round 9K of the 10K course I enter the final kilometre, I’m going slower than I had hoped and I’m a bit disheartened, yet determined to finish. That last kilometre was dominated by those two thoughts, disappointment and determination. For those of you who haven’t gone jogging, it’s a very good way to focus the mind, I used to …

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The impossible bike ride

My legs are pumping, sweat drips from my brow, trickling down my nose, my hands are slipping on the grips and through half shut eyes I watch the distance slowly rise. More! Faster! COME ON!! I silently urge myself, blocking out the slow burn of acid in my muscles, pushing myself on, adrenalin surging round my body whilst I gasp for air. The timer counts down, seconds to go, I know I won’t make it but I have to try, all the way, 100% until there is no time left, push push push, the pedals spin and my legs scream at me to stop. The timer hits zero, I sit up in the saddle and gulp down air. Huge mouthfuls, …

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On the mend

“You’re free!” he exclaimed. And, with that, I skipped down the hall. Well, not really, but he did say I was free, free from attending physio again as, by all accounts my knee is on the mend and there is nothing else they can do for me. He was happy that my left Vastus Medialis had improved sufficiently (you can now see it on my leg, yay) and that I can handle doing some non-impact cardiovascular exercise (bike, cross-trainer and the like). Now it’s down to me to remember to do my exercise and to get my lazy ass off the sofa and down to the gym a few times a week. And, because I like to plan these things, …

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